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tv   White House Chronicles  WHUT  December 2, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EST

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captioned by the national captioning institute >> hello, llewellyn king, the host of "white house chronicle," which is coming right up. first, a few thoughts of my own. actually, a little history. as europe teaches the euro at its history is in trouble, remember there was a history
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behind the european integration that has almost been forgotten. that purpose was peace. the european concept or the concept of an integrated europe came after the second world war from statesmen who had endured two world wars in europe. they were people who thought the only solution from 2000 years of internet seen warfare in europe, plus these two unbelievable massacres of millions of people, was in some way to integrate europe, to diffuse the nationalism. that is what the european project was about. i do not think it will become unstuck totally, and it is certainly in trouble. it is worth remembering it is one of the great noble endeavors, and that is one of the few instances of collective improvement at work in the world today. everything else seems to be
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deteriorating, coming us under. europe is still trying to increase its ties. there are still countries trying to get in. there are 27 members of the european union. seventeen members of the euro zone. it was founded on the ability. i hope, therefore, that it succeeds. i will be right back with a wonderful show and some of the most exciting journalists in radio and print today. >> many have spoken out on the need to transition to a clean energy future. at exelon, we are acting to displace 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, helping customers reduce emissions, and offering low- carbon electricity in the marketplace. at exelon, we are taking action
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and seeing results. >> "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut, howard university television. and now your program host, nationally syndicated columnist llewellyn king, and co-host linda gasparello. hello again, and thank you for coming along. i promised you wonderful people, and here they are. i am joined by greg of srn news, by daniel stone of "newsweek." and by an old friend of this program, george wilson of sirius xm radio. welcome to the broadcast. >> always a pleasure. >> and someone else from sirius xm radio, and the first time on, pamela kirkland. pamela, welcome to our company. off we go.
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dan, what is happening at the white house? the president is on the road all the time. two battleground states, states that it says it is not political but would seem to be conspicuously political. what do you think? >> over the past couple of months we have seen the president's turn -- the president turned squarely toward campaigning not just to sell his jobs bill but to sell his reelection next year. we see the republican race heating up, and the president is getting out there to save face. one of his new catch phrase is to try to defend his 2008 campaign. he said, look, change is... the health care that we're at -- that we passed, all of the changes. >> is this doing him some good? >> we have not seen the polls moot -- move much as it is, but
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this works in cycles. he could find himself down over the winter and spring if he does not get down there on offense. >> journalists are in sense synthetic news. >> absolutely. that is the only indication of what people outside our thinking. they are never completely accurate. >> winston churchill said it is good to keep your ear to the ground, so long as you remember where your posterior is when you do so. george, the congress of the united states has not decided that its purpose and function -- is that its purpose and function? >> the pieces that you see, the pieces of appropriations bills, they know they have to do 12, but they will do three and discuss authorization for the rest of the term. congress is really destined for gridlock just because basically
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it is a 60-vote threshold. you will always need republicans to get things passed in the senate. because of that, i think it is a recipe for gridlock. >> are the republicans aware that it hangs around in the populace against gridlock? >> i do not think so. it seems to be what they think their constituents want to hear. i think they are misreading the polls or whoever is doing the data, and i think will backfire on them. >> pamela, as a senior producer at sirius xm radio, channel 124, which carries the audio of this program, and where i appear on fridays for half an hour. having done that plug -- >> we appreciate it very much. >> we appreciate all the listeners and viewers we can
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get. one of the things that you do that is very good is report on what the blogs are saying. what are the blogs saying about gridlock? >> there was one interesting blog i will bring to your attention. for the first time ever, the senate will hold secret sensa, a gift exchange. however, there are only 58 out of the 100 senators participating, so they cannot even agree on exchanging gifts and pre-holiday cheer to the capital. >> how do you find blogs? when i listen to you, i am amazed at how many disparate things you have found and report on. >> i have my core center i like to go to. for the most part, there is a wealth of information. twitter is fantastic. a story of a lot of political journalists on twitter. if anybody has an interesting story, it is posted almost immediately.
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i can grab a link. twitter is my secret weapon. >> do you think twitter trivializes political recording -- political reporting? >> often you will see a story on twitter and almost immediately want to grab it and report it, but you have to take a step back. >> it is sort of like giving your best tips to the opposition. >> it is. >> what is the reward of twittering? >> you get your message out to a large audience quickly, but, for instance, white house correspondent jay carney has a twitter account. usda spokesman going back and forth, a spokesman -- you will see a spokesman going back and forth, a spokesman for the romney campaign. you have to be where the misinformation that is on twitter as well. >> all of the electronics lend
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themselves to disinformation. because it is so quick, there is not time to report, investigate, to cogitate. it is there. if it is wrong, once it is out, it cannot be withdrawn. it is there for all time. >> it as almost an acceleration of the 24/7 news cycle time if you can believe that. >> greg, what do you think of this? are you a twitterer? >> i am not currently touring. one of the pitfalls can be that -- i am not currently twittering. people might be quick to type a quick message over what they would write if they were typing up a magazine or newspaper article. >> it has led to informality. one of the things i thought for a long time since the arrival of blogs was how wrong we as formal
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journalists had it, where you had to write a certain way. every statement had to be attributed, everything had to have a source. everything had a formality, whereas people wanted something more subjective, more informal, and more personal. that is where journalism has gone, has it not? >> we had this discussion about twitter, i am one who has gotten involved in the past couple of months and have some followers now. i find it fascinating that as a talk-show host, people who cannot reach you on the telephone will send you a tweet, saying i wanted to get in on the conversation but i could not. >> that is very useful because now we do not have to contact anyone, we are not sure if it will be e-mail or telephone. i actually know someone who writes letters. >> i saw someone do that the other day. >> writing letters. >> the best comparison i can think of is it is sort of like
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the new york stock exchange, where you are sitting in a room, people have so much more to say, so much more immediate, and you are not listening to what most people are saying. if you do, you could hear a nugget that is extraordinarily helpful. >> i think we have probably too much political reporting now, too little for and reporting, too little from the hinterland, and huge changes are taking place in the way we work, the way we go to school, and these are not really reported if you're concentrating on the major aspects of a candidate. i will take a moment for station identification, primarily for our listeners on sirius xm. i am llewellyn king and you are listening to "white house chronicle," coming to you from washington, d.c. >> i am joined by greg. i'm joined by daniel stone of
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"newsweek," george wilson and pamela kirkland of sirius xm radio. >> the power. >> the potus, 124. i think there is some of the best political listening that there is. the marvelous thing about satellite radio is you can get it across the country. it does not stop when you go here. if you go in a tunnel, it does. well, nothing is perfect. >> we have not figured that out yet. >> you could. let's have a look at how we're doing internationally. the world is a fine mess. the euro is teetering. europe itself is very discomfited. arguably one of the reasons behind the formation of the european union was a concern of
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germany, which by that point had three major wars. should be part of something else. there is a fine line, and everybody is now looking to germany to save the european union and to save the euro. do we have a role in this? anyone? george? >> i think we do have a role. people are looking to the united states to be destabilizing influence. >> people are quite attractive to our gridlock. >> to some degree. i think the real danger here is that as we look at the development against austerity measures in london, this may be a foretaste of what may occur here. >> the brits have run into a problem. they have cut some of their extravagant social expenditures, but they did not realize the unemployment, which is an argument to be made against republican proposals domestically. >> we are looking at the same
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potential here. no question we are looking at high unemployment with no real solution to solve it. >> and degraded wages. wages are not going up. the minimum wage is not livable. >> things that people counted on in the stretch, they said that will be here when i reach the age. even those who are drawn -- drawing social security 5 themselves asking questions, will this be here now? >> pray tell, george. >> you are going to get your check, llewellyn. >> thank goodness. >> i think the options are limited for the united states in the role in terms of financial support. obviously in the coming days we will hear from the german chancellor and the french president as they stake out an effort to bring some stability here. the euro zone, 17 nations that you mentioned, are in real
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trouble. >> europe is in trouble, particularly across the southern tier, winston churchill called the soft underbelly of europe. but these are still, by the standards of the third world, rich countries. europe is a very rich place, as is the united states. doesn't all this come out for financialgnment, redistribution -- shock, horror, to use that term? >> the free-spending ways of those seven countries, the debt problem that they're facing -- does germany tackle those issues on behalf of the greater euro zone? >> there is some confusion, dan, of who said it. we believe it was -- democracy
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works under the people if they can finally vote themselves money. is that what we're facing? >> absolutely. when you have so many different dynamics playing, and your question of what the u.s. can do, there is very limited influence in the entire debacle there. president obama has been engaged, but only to the extent that he can get on the phone with angela merkel and nicolas sarkozy and push them toward decision that he and secretary geithner think our best. this will be a politically neutral issue in 2012 because any u.s. executive has limited reach here. even mitt romney during one of the debates, when faced with what would you do in europe, said, they can handle their own problems, i would not do anything. >> what error american bank -- what about american banks in europe? our banks may be in trouble because of their difficulties. >> in 2009, we remember
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president obama essentially told european leaders, do not worry, we will bailout our banks and we will make sure that stability globally remains. now it is your turn, he is saying to them. we will see if they keep to that. >> it looks to me as though they will essentially print money and solve their debt problems down the road with inflation, which countries do. they do not like to admit they do it, but they will solve it by reducing the amount they owe through inflation, which is terrible pressure on people on fixed incomes, social security. what are you reading on the blogs? >> most people are concerned about a domino effect. economies are so fragile and we're all interconnected, the german economy being tied to the u.k. what happens here affect europe, and that will affect us
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here. that is what i see, the concern with how will this affect me. that is what people really want to know. >> wasn't it the case that the republican debate on foreign relations and international aid was the most unsatisfactory of the debates? >> it was, which was interesting because it was probably one of the most substantial debates we have seen, if not the most substantial debate. how many are we up to now? i have lost tell. it feels like 150. people were not watching it for some reason. >> have we turned politics totally into a spectator sport, forgotten there are consequences? >> yes, it is almost like pregame for a football game. people are engaged just like the pregame show for now. people want the real show, once we get down to who will run
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against president obama. >> we have this person up, one person down. we have now had nearly everyone up. >> we're still waiting. >> huntsman has not made his move yet. watch out, george. >> here he comes. >> in terms of the republican gauge in iowa, several of the more recent polls indicate there is a large number of voters who are undecided on this issue. romney, who has been hitting this plateau of support for many months now, and we have seen the other alternatives to romney hit their peak cent fall by the wayside. still, a large chunk of voters do not know who they will vote for. >> there we talk about herman cain and his problems? more the issue, the private life affect public life, or should it? >> should it is the real
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question. it is an issue of judgment. that is what we all have to consider. >> i grew up in a time when all sorts of shenanigans were going on. everybody knew about them but no one thought to write about them. you would not publish them, you would not have gotten them any more stories than you had. the editor of "the washington post," ben bradley, a truly remarkable man, clearly, because he was tso close to jack kennedy, would have known about jack kennedy's central proclivity -- sexual proclivity. >> it is not a very good story. it seems to now be a question of when he might be done. >> there is a serious question that arises. if we have, and it is we in the
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media who largely apply this bulletproof scrutiny to private lives, do we deny the nation a lot of talent and leadership in the congress, and agencies, because people who get things done also tend to have been a bit more messy in their private lives that people who are the milquetoast, as it were. >> people who may not agree meet or rise to certain moral standards they have their politicians up held to, in that sense the argument may be true. >> is it us, the media, or is it the public's moral standard? we have seen the shift that we in the media tolerate all kinds of things in washington when probably public morality was at a higher level than it is today. there is a much greater tolerance for personal conduct today. in everything except politics. there is less tolerance for
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diversion in morals and politics then there is in everyday life. >> i think that is true. culture has changed in that sense. the role of the public and the role of the media, have both played a role in that change of dynamics there. certainly in terms of journalism, there is still a got-you attitude, ever since the early nixon years, in terms of watergate. that has bled into journalism in terms of reporting those types of facts and details that, as you point out, was not a case in the 1960's, for example. >> what do you think? >> going back to the blogs, it is this paparazzi-style tabloid reporting in some cases. we have blogs report on senator chuck schumer flying in from new york into reagan national airport, not necessarily
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expecting to have a camera showed in his face, or even in the case of the vice-president when he was on capitol hill, there was a reporter from human events who basically broke protocol and asked the vice president a question. he was caught very off guard. do the politicians have to be on their game 100% of the time, or should they just expect to be presented with the unexpected at any moment? >> in the case of herman cain, he raised that he was involved in a 13-year affair with someone, and there are these questions of timing. why now should that matter? some people do like to say i got you. if you are going to be controversial, you had better be clean, and that goes all the way back. why should it matter whether or not you had a restraining order or she could not pay her bills because she was not working. what does that have to do with the allegation? >> i was wondering what that had
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to do with it. when you have somebody who burns a hole in our typewriters, we need to tell once we know something. that is journalism. because journalists get a block -- get in a lot of trouble when they do not tell. there are more problems by not telling, by sitting on the stories, because then you are managing the news. if you're sitting on stories, you are managing the news. >> you also have to be prepared. every politician has some unflattering moment in their past. in 2008, we remember hearing about president obama's early experimenting with illegal drugs as a young person. he was open and honest about it and was prepared. herman cain seems to have been caught very flatfooted. it says more about his judgment and his preparedness for the presidency than the episode itself. >> i think we had better do our high notes now. greg, high or low?
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>> a low note this time. we had attorney-general poking his finger in the face of reporters saying there should not be legitimate questions out there. >> after reports from my employer and "60 minutes," the senate held a hearing yesterday about a law to prohibit any information about their personal portfolios. a high note. >> despite all the rhetoric on capitol hill concerned with those who are unemployed, i have yet to see a substantial jobs bill that will put thousands of people to work. there's also this uncertainty many people have in the holiday season whether or not they will see an extension of their unemployment benefits. for me, it is an ongoing low. >> george, do jobs bills work? unless you do all the kinds of
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things that roosevelt did? >> right now drastic times for drastic solution -- require drastic solutions. we need to look for a wpa type of programs so people can go to work and participate in the economy. >> there are two parts to this. one is how bad wages are in the service industries. they are dreadful. the minimum wage is close to a joke. >> even working is not enough. >> working two jobs is not enough. i have to confess that i was on the minimum wage in new york city after my great inventions, the first one liberation magazine liberated all my money. i had to work at minimum wage, $1.25 an hour. i was a head because i was warm and had something to eat. god knows if i had a family. pamela? >> i will keep this on the high side of the table.
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on a personal note, my family welcomed a new baby into the world. isaiah louis owens. congratulations, christina and jerry. he is my nephew. >> wonderful. and you have already started saving for his education because it is unbelievably expensive. >> perhaps he is the debt solution and is just not talking yet. >> he is not paying taxes yet. those of us on social security want to know about people paying taxes. that is our show for this week. we hope we will see you next week at "white house chronicle." captioned by the national captioning institute
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>> many have spoken out on the need to transition to a clean energy future. exelon, we are acting this place 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually, helping customers reduce emissions, offering low-carbon electricity in the marketplace. at exelon, we are taking action and seeing results. >> "white house chronicle" is produced in collaboration with whut, howard university television. from washington, d.c., this has been "white house chronicle," a weekly analysis of the news with insight and a sense of humor, featuring llewellyn king,
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linda gasparello, and guests. this program may be seen on pbs stations and cable access channels. to view the program online, visit us at to view the program online, visit us at


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